Matsushita Battery Industrial Co has stopped production of lithium ion batteries at their plant near Osaka Japan after a fire at one of the two manufacturing lines. The line that had the fire makes batteries for laptop batteries while the adjacent line that makes cell phone batteries was also shut down. The cell phone battery line makes units for Nokia that were part of a current recall and replacement campaign because of issues with overheating and explosions.
Matsushita sells products under the Panasonic brand and has a joint venture with Toyota
called Panasonic EV
energy that makes NiMH batteries for hybrids
. This doesn't bode well for Toyota and it may be part of the reasoning behind Toyota trying to cool the lithium battery hype recently. It's not clear what the cause of the fire was but this certainly doesn't look good.
[Source: JCN Network]